It was one of those days in which I had one ball too many to juggle. Truth be known, juggling may not be my “gifting”.
The email I had been waiting for came at a time when my attention was concentrated elsewhere. I should have left the email unread in my inbox until I was able to read it, digest it, and respond to it correctly. And that truly was my intent when I read it. But ….
I read it and my immediate thought was to forward it my husband, who also needed to read it. Correct so far.
I typed out my thoughts on it, unfiltered and honest (I think I may have written, “Is she NUTS???”), which I would only ever express to him. Correct so far.
And that was when the overwhelming feeling of dread filled me. I had hit “reply” and not “forward”.
With no way to retrieve it nor make a phone call, I had to sit in my embarrassment until I could properly take care of it.
I know I am not the only one, nor the first one, to make this mistake. But this was a first for me. It was not that my response was wrong but I would have been more tactful in expressing my thoughts to this other person.
Upon arriving home, I walked in the door and picked up the phone to serve myself a nice sized portion of humble pie. Her graciousness and laughter made it go down a whole lot easier than expected. In fact, she agreed with me. But the lessons have not been lost on me and will not soon be forgotten:
- Pay attention. Or maybe even better – give my full and undivided attention to the task or person in front of me.
- Slow down. In my haste, the mistake was made. Even in those times when a response is needed readily, take a few moments to pause and think.
- Be quick. Correct the situation as soon as one is able. Don’t let it fester and grow larger than life.
But it was the response I received which I will remember. Her response was kind, gracious, and quickly made me comfortable in her presence once again.
May our words be gracious and exactly the ones which need to heard today.
“Kind words are like honey –
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
(Proverbs 16:24, NLT)